All posts tagged therapy

Decadent Therapy!

Published October 15, 2017 by Maryanne

Cake PhotoThat couch! It’s a beautiful thing!

(Me at Cake, NYC in the 1990s, the decade of Prozac Nation)

It always cracks me up when someone tries to win an argument by suggesting that the person they are arguing with needs therapy. Therapy-shaming is ignorant. Therapy is something everyone can benefit from, and only a narcissist would think they don’t need therapy.

Every successful, truly happy person I’ve ever met has been clearly vocal about their therapist. This leads me to believe that people who ain’t too proud to admit they could use a little help are the ones that learn to move mountains in life.

“Asking for help is always a sign of strength” – Michelle Obama.

“It’s really a wonderful thing to be able to talk to someone who doesn’t judge you.” -Katy Perry.

Since the 1960s, therapy has been in vogue. For part of the ’60s I wasn’t even born, but I became aware of the power of therapy in the 1990s. I was in my early 30s — and we were in the musical age of grunge. Back then, it seemed like everyone was depressed. Books like “Prozac Nation” were top sellers. Kurt Cobain killed himself and it was documented that some fans followed suit and killed themselves too. People started to become aware that depression and bipolar and stress were real things — for real people. And all the cool people started going to therapy.

Jumping on the band wagon, I tested the waters with a few therapists back then. The problem is, like anything else good in life, it takes some time to find a good one. But the effort is well worth it. Over the years I found a couple good ones — and from time to time, their wisdom still seeps into my brain and it’s very helpful.

Earlier this week one of my favorite friends took me to a Katy Perry concert. I wasn’t familiar with her music; then during the show, I fell in love with it. Every song was amazing — and empowering. And her stage show was epic.

I Googled Katy Perry and was incredibly impressed by all she did. She wrote all her songs; songs that had hooks, songs that were clever and fun, and told me Katy Perry could be an old soul. It made perfect sense to learn that such a super high achiever goes (or went) to therapy.

And here I am relating, because I’m at a time in my life where my career took an incredible turn for the better, which goes hand in hand with stress. Then when it comes time to “down time” you have to spend it more wisely, being more choosy about the people you want to connect with.

Once things started getting super good, career-wise, I took the advice of a few friends and started letting go of things that no longer served me. Life was always precious to me, but now even more so. Each waking moment has to count. I needed to manage my personal life like I manage my career.

So, by the advice of a psychic, I cleaned out my Facebook page, getting rid of people I’m not relating to and probably would never see again in my life. (And in their favor, they probably wouldn’t care if they never saw me again; so if they want to be snarky about it, they can post those unoriginal memes that say, “The trash took itself out.”).

I also let go of writing for two freelance publications I felt were holding me back; whether it was the stress of not liking a particular editor, or always chasing after checks that were notoriously late. It was just something that was no longer necessary to my being. TW = time wasting.

It’s a huge relief knowing that I’ll never get an email from either publication again. And I take even more comfort knowing that there are people I really can’t stand and I’ll never have to see them in my Facebook feed again!

If only every problem everyone had could disappear with a “delete” button or just saying “I quit.” But, no, that’s not going to happen.

I look so good on paper. I have the most amazing, adoring husband; the most creative, loving girlfriends; and I get to make a living as an editor, writer, and public speaker. How cool is that?

The bottom line is — I’m human. I get nervous. I get scared. I have bursts of unhappiness. I terribly miss loved ones who passed and are waiting on the other side. I worry about things that may never happen. I am too sensitive for this world.

So what do I do about it? Call a therapist. Unfortunately the one that helped me the most 10 years ago has long retired.

I found another I really like. She wasn’t in my benefits network and offered to help me find others that were. When she sent an email with names and numbers, after researching them, I wasn’t feeling it. I shook my head. I wrote back to her, “But I want YOU!”

It made no difference to me that I’d be paying out of pocket. From my short phone call with this woman, she deserves my top dollar! And, I’m worth it. My first appointment is in two weeks.

I can’t wait to get on that couch, put my cute feet up, and have some girl talk with an intelligent age-appropriate woman who wowed me over the telephone in a short consult session.

God bless that good ‘ole glamorous indulgence called therapy. If it’s good enough for Katy Perry, it’s good enough for me! ❤

I feel better already!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a three-time author. Her second book, the fictitious “Love Cats” deals with the issues of selfish people. It’s available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions:  







Dear Abby, RIP

Published January 19, 2013 by Maryanne

Dear Abby

Genius “Dear Abby” sample, swiped from The Frisky

It’s the end of another era as we mourn the death of famous advice columnist “Dear Abby” who died of Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 94 a couple days ago.

Pauline Phillips was the real name of  “Dear Abby” (Abigail Van Buren) who started writing her column in 1956 at the age of 37 and shared the column with her daughter Jeanne Phillips in 2000, but by 2002 Jeanne started writing the column herself.

“Dear Abby” will always hold a great place in my heart. You see, growing up, there was always a Paterson News in our home. And in the apartment downstairs from us, my Aunt Sophie got The Herald News. “Dear Abby” was syndicated, therefore her column was in both.

I always loved to read — a lot! If I read all my children’s books and comic books, I’d go to cereal boxes. One day I decided I was going to challenge myself and read the newspaper. I may have been too young for newspaper reading, but I decided I’d just skip over the words that I didn’t know. Surprisingly, when I got to “Dear Abby” it was an easy read for a kid and I looked forward to reading the paper every day. I went straight for the gusto — “Dear Abby” and the comics section. Grown-ups were impressed that I was reading the newspaper at such a tender age.

Moving forward, I was pretty wise for my years. Always an old soul trapped in a younger person’s body. I think Abby’s wisdom had a lot to do with it. When I grew older I became the go-to person amongst friends; the one people would seek advice from.

Even in later years when I had some struggles with depression, I’d be in therapy and the psychologist would tell me that I should be a therapist! This happened not once, not twice, but THREE times, on THREE separate occasions, with THREE separate psychologists. One even thought I should go to school for psychotherapy! What an honor to be told that by a professional.

I guess reading “Dear Abby” religiously was a form of therapy and I learned so much from her, which is why I reap the benefits now and have an amazing life and know how to roll with the punches.

Now in modern times, when many people lack people skills and manners we could really use a Dear Abby. The world is full of selfish, lazy people who don’t want to work; people who prefer the coldness of texting and emailing rather than picking up the phone or visiting someone (or even worse, people who don’t even answer emails because they can’t be bothered); people who are always in a hurry, honking horns, slamming into each other with their shopping carts; people who are always trying to one-up each other as if life is a competition rather than a beautiful place to be that God blessed us with. It’s just ugly out there! No wonder I just love spending my nights at home with my wonderful husband and our kitties!

But like I said, the end of an era. “Dear Abby” is gone and she took a lot with her.

I thank this wonderful lady that I never had the pleasure of meeting for all her wisdom and pure common sense. I also thank her for, in a way, teaching me to read!

God bless Dear Abby and may she rest in peace.

Here is a fabulous article on her that was published on the CNN website: